In a week characterised by anger, the country’s leader has finally come out of hiding, making an announcement that will go a long way in combating the scourge of femicide.
Addressing the nation on Thursday evening, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that he will be asking Parliament to make public the sex offender list.
The list (the National Register for Sex Offenders) was established by an Act of Parliament in 2007, and is a record of names of those found guilty of sexual offences against children and mentally disabled people.
However, the list can only be accessed by employers who have to check if the person being hired is fit to work with children or the mentally disabled.
These employers include public and private institutions such as schools, crèches and hospitals.
The President promised to “to overhaul and modernise” the list to “ensure that it is effective in combatting gender-based violence”.
On the government’s twitter account, it was made clear that the list will be updated to include the names of those convicted of violence against women.
Other measures include making available funding for gender-based violence campaigns, strengthening response coordination between the police, social development, health, justice and education; and to strengthen legislation that would make it harder for perpetrators to get bail and parole.
He also suggested that the country’s laws might be overhauled to give minimum life sentences to femicide perpetrators, a proposal made by Minister Patricia de Lille during last week’s women’s parliament.